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Decision Making Skills: Definition, Process, and Examples

Decision-Making Skills Definition

Decision-making skills are a category of soft skills that can be utilized to assist in resolving any challenge encountered within an organization. Demonstrating the capacity to judge and assess various alternatives while exercising judgment is an admirable quality in a leader (leadership skills).

This article will cover the Decision-making definition & types, the Decision-making process or steps, and provide guidance on how to improve decision-making skills.

What are decision-making skills?

Decision-making abilities are those skills that facilitate the selection of solutions to problems. Possessing these abilities will enable you to make well-informed decisions after gathering all pertinent data and information and weighing multiple perspectives. To enhance one’s decision-making capability, it is critical to ascertain and encompass all the skills that facilitate the evaluation of alternatives and the formulation of optimal choices.

Decision-making skills examples

In reality, there is a vast array of skills involved in the decision-making process. The subsequent competencies facilitate the process of making judgments and would be advantageous to emphasize one’s curriculum vitae:

  • Reasoning skills: One of the most essential abilities required for effective decision-making is reasoning. It is imperative to thoroughly consider the merits and demerits of each potential solution prior to reaching a conclusion.
  • Observational skills: Observation skills are the abilities to pay attention to, think about, separate, and act on the knowledge you can get from what’s going on around you, no matter where you are.
  • Problem Solution: Problem-solving skills are an important part of decision-making. One must possess the capacity to consider multiple perspectives in order to arrive at a well-reasoned conclusion.
  • Emotional Intelligence skills: Emotional intelligence relates to the ability to recognize and regulate both one’s own and others’ emotions. It is commonly believed that emotional intelligence comprises the following abilities: emotional awareness, which entails the capacity to recognize and label one’s own emotions; the capability of utilizing those emotions to solve problems and engage in cognitive processes; and the capability of effectively managing one’s emotions.
  • Leadership skills: Leadership skills that are strong can help get people to work together to reach their goals. Take the time to get to know your coworkers and make them feel safe talking to you.
  • Time management skills: Time management skills that help you remember important due dates may help you when you need to make quick choices.
  • Intuition: The essence of intuition is having faith in one’s instincts. The foundation of your intuition is derived from past experiences and the fundamental principles that motivate you on a daily basis.
  • Teamwork spirit: The skills and traits that enable you to collaborate effectively with others during discussions, initiatives, meetings, and other situations are referred to as “teamwork skills.”
  • Creativity quality: By combining logical and emotive reasoning, your creativity can generate a variety of original approaches and solutions.
  • Organization: When making decisions, organizational skills are very important. This skill helps you put problems and answers in order of importance so that you always deal with the most important ones first.

What is a decision-making process?

Making a decision means figuring out what you want to do, getting information, and weighing your options for how to do it. In other words “A decision-making process is a series of steps taken by an individual to determine the best option or course of action to meet their needs“. 

By organizing important information and defining alternatives, a step-by-step decision-making process can help you make more deliberate, well-thought-out choices. This method makes it more likely that you will pick the option that will give you the most satisfaction.

decision making process
Image Source: slideteam

Step 1: Figure out what you want to do.
You understand that you need to choose. Try to be very clear about what kind of choice you need to make. It’s important to take this first step.

Step 2: Get the information you need
Gather important information before making a choice. Find out what information you need, where to get it, and how to get it. Within and outside of yourself, this step requires “work.” Some knowledge is inside you; you’ll have to do some self-evaluation to find it. You can find other information outside of this subject online, in books, from other people, and in other places.

Step 3: List the other options
As you gather knowledge, you’ll probably come up with a number of different things you could do. You can also come up with new options by using your imagination and new knowledge. This step is where you make a list of all the possible and good options.

Step 4: Look at the proof
Use the knowledge you have and how you feel to picture what it would be like to see each option through to the end. Consider each option and decide if it would meet or solve the need that was identified in Step 1. As you go through this hard process inside of you, you’ll start to favor certain options—those that seem like they have a better chance of helping you reach your goal. After that, put the options in order of how important they are to you based on your own values.

Step 5: Pick an option from the list
After looking at all the proof, you can choose the option that seems best for you. It’s even possible to pick more than one option. The choice you make in Step 5 might be the same or a lot like the one you put at the top of your list at the end of Step 4.

Step 6: Do something
You are now ready to do something good by starting to use the alternative you picked in Step 5.

Step 7: Think about your choice and what it means.
In the last step, you should think about how your choice turned out and see if it met the need you identified in Step 1. If the choice didn’t meet the need, you might want to go through some of the steps again to make a new choice. For instance, you might want to get more specific or slightly different information, or you might want to look into other options.

Types of decision-making models

Some common types of decision-making models are:

Rational models

Most people use models that show how to make decisions based on logic. It makes sense and goes in order, and the goal is to make a list of as many possible next steps as possible. After every choice is shown, it is possible to compare them and choose the best one. A lot of the time, these models list the choices in order of how important they are and include pros and cons for each one.

The steps below are usually part of a reasonable decision-making model:

  • Figure out the issue or chance.
  • Set decision factors and think about them.
  • Gather and arrange all the information that is connected.
  • Look at the situation.
  • Make a number of choices.
  • Look at all of your choices and give each one a value.
  • Figure out which choice is best.
  • Carry out the choice.
  • Think about the choice.

Intuitive models

These ways of making decisions are based on the idea that the process of making decisions doesn’t really follow any rules or make sense. To do this, the process is guided by an inner knowing, or gut, of what the best choice is. But natural models aren’t just based on how you feel. Pattern recognition, similarity recognition, and how important or noticeable the choice is are also things they look at.

Recognition primed models

These models use both logic and intuition to help people make decisions. One thing that makes it different is that the person making the choice only looks at one option instead of weighing all of them.

The steps in the recognition-based decision-making process are:

  • Figuring out what the problem is and what its symptoms, clues, standards, and business goals are.
  • Thinking about the plan and running it through your head to see if it works and what changes might need to be made.
  • If everyone is happy with the plan, it is put into action.
  • When using recognition primed models, different actions are only thought about if the first plan doesn’t work out as planned. The success rate of this plan depends on how experienced and skilled a person is.

Creative models

Users of this decision-making model gather information and ideas about the issue at hand and come up with some starting options for how to fix it. After that, the person making the choice goes into a “incubation” period where they don’t think about the options. That’s why they let their unconscious mind take over, and it leads them to an understanding and answer that they can then test and decide is correct.

Types of Decision-Making in Management 

Let’s look at some ways that managers make decisions.

Routine and Basic Decision-making

There are some choices that are trickier and need more thought. You might have to choose what to wear to a job interview or how to deal with a tough customer at work. It is important to give your choices a lot of thought before making a choice in these cases. Basic decision-making skills include weighing the pros and cons of each choice and picking the one that is most likely to lead to the result you want.

Personal and Organizational Decision-making

Making decisions is an important part of both personal and business success. When making a choice, it’s important to think about all of the possible outcomes of each one. There might be a clear best choice sometimes, but other times it might be harder to decide. However, being able to make good choices is important for both people and businesses.

Individual and Group Decision-making

When it comes to project management, the individual decision-making process is usually used when the stakes are low and the choice will only affect one person. When the stakes are high or when many people will be affected by the decision, it needs to be made as a group. In general, making decisions as a group is better than making decisions on your own because it lets more people share their ideas and allows for more thorough discussion.

Programmed and Non-Programmed Decision-making

In operation management, choices that aren’t programmed are one-of-a-kind and don’t happen over and over again. Most of the time, they are made in reaction to an opportunity or event that was not expected. Decisions that are programmed, on the other hand, are automatic and usually follow set rules or steps. Most of the time, programmed choices are safer and easier to make because they are more predictable. But choices that aren’t programmed often need more thought and creativity, and if they turn out to be wrong, they can be harder to undo.

Policy and Operating Decision-making

Making policy and running decisions are two important parts of any business. Policy choices are made at the strategic level, which means they are about long-term things like the entire direction of the company. At the operational level, on the other hand, decisions are made about short-term things like what goods to make and how to staff the production process.

Tactical and Strategic Decision-making

This is an important way for managers to make decisions. Businesses need to be able to make tactical decisions so they can adapt quickly to changes in their surroundings. But focusing too much on short-term decisions can make it easy to lose sight of long-term goals. Making strategic decisions is important because they help businesses set clear goals and decide how to use their resources most effectively. For a company to be successful, it needs to make both tactical and strategic decisions.

Planned and Unplanned Decision-making

Making decisions in management can be planned or not planned. Planned choices are ones that are made ahead of time, after thinking about all the possible outcomes of each choice. On the other hand, unplanned decisions are ones that are made right then and there, without giving them any thought ahead of time. There are pros and cons to both of these ways of making business decisions.

Organizational, Departmental, and Interdepartmental Decision-making

Organizational type of executive decision-making is the process of figuring out what the best thing to do is to help the organization reach its goals. It works at all levels of an organization and includes both official and informal ways of making decisions. One thing that managers need to be good at is giving examples of how to make decisions.

Figure out and pick the best way for departments to work together to reach their goals through interdepartmental decision-making. It happens at every level when two or more teams work together.

How to highlight decision-making skills on a resume?

Here are three ways to show that you can make good decisions on your resume:

Use the terms that are used in the job description

Associating words is an important part of showing a hiring boss your skills the right way. People who make decisions use verbs like chosen, decided, strategized, and achieved. One catch is that you need to give more information about what’s in the description in order to get an interview.

Stress the numbers you achieved in different jobs.

To get the recruiter’s attention, list the measures that helped you do your best in each job. Telling the hiring manager about the measurable results you’ve achieved in previous jobs will help them see how you can help their business.

Look at some examples from websites that post jobs.

Since you’re tailoring your resume to the company in the business you want to work in, look at other applicants’ resumes on a number of job boards to see how you can show that you can make good decisions in the same way.

Read Also: What Level of Skills Maturity is Being Demonstrated



  • Naveen K

    As a passionate Instructor, content writer and Researcher with 12 years of experience, I take pride in creating engaging and informative content that resonates with readers. Since 2015, I have been helping our readers/students find the right courses and learning platforms for their bright future.

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